Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Magical Mystery tour takes to the road in a Toyota Sienna van

The weather since I have arrived in Asheville has been variable to say the very least.  This morning as we set out on our magical tour in our natty Sienna van, the weather was gorgeous. The air was crisp but not too chill and the sunlight made everything it touched glow and shimmer. 
Charlene and I rode tail gun from the back seat.

We headed straight to the Southern Highland Craft Show where Dawn had some friends participating in the show.  I was interested in seeing if the show was different or similar to the Best of the Northwest show in which I have participated back home.  One major difference was that there is more glass and photography in the NW and more wood, pottery and weaving here in the SE.  The booths were also pretty tight up on the concourse, but very nicely set up.
I bought a few Christmas gifts and met some very nice people.  One vendor, Russ's Rural Rockers, had the most incredible hand carved rocking "horses".
The detail in his work was gorgeous as was the finishing.  The layering of the woods and his use of burls was also beautiful.

After the craft show we went for lunch at Salsa's .  What a wonderful menu.  I wish this restaurant was in my home town so that I could taste my way through it.  I had a Mocaljete, which came in a hot lava cauldron with three legs.  In this video, my meal is happily sizzling away in the pot.  It had chicken with a curry-coconut sauce alongside mushrooms that had a carmelized-chipotle flavor.  There were vegetables underneath and a little side plate containing rice, beans, salsa and a freshly made guacamole.  Yum.

Afterwards we went to the University of North Carolina Botanical Gardens where we walked around for hours enjoying the serenity of the forest within the bustling city.  The creek that ran through it made just enough noise that it blocked out the traffic on the edge of the park.

Some "groovy" rock formations.
This isIthe bark of a tree called The Devil's walking stick.  One can just imagine why.
Afterward a couple of hours of plant therapy we head back to the house for dinner and an evening of working on uploading photos and laughter.  The highlight of the evening was having Ken Thomas show me how to use the various tools in iPhoto to improve my photos which I really appreciated.

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